Global health R&D at work in Alaska
The National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention operates its Arctic Investigations Program (AIP) in Alaska, which focuses on reducing and preventing infectious diseases that disproportionately affect American Indian and Alaska Native populations. One area of research is the study of animal-to-human infectious disease threats, including the transmission of intestinal giardiasis, a dangerous diarrheal disease that not only impacts Alaskans but also millions of people in low-income countries worldwide. Giardiasis, a parasitic infection, is spread mostly by consumption of inadequately treated surface water. Repeated exposure can lead to developmental delays in children due to malabsorption of nutrients. The AIP research could point the way to new strategies to combat the disease.